Following the loss of my mom, I was given the name of a counselor who has been incredibly helpful helping me navigate grief. I had seen her a couple of times in the months following my mother’s death, and I had not seen her in some months when I decided I was due for another appointment. I began telling her the anxiety that had been creeping in recently. She asked me about the things I was doing to take care of myself – mostly running and writing – and I mentioned that I had given up both of these things recently. I told her it had been hard to find the time to run, and gratitude journaling had been difficult.
As we were having this conversation, she gave me the advice I had been needing to hear: you do not always have to be grateful. She said while gratitude journals can be extremely helpful, right now may not be the best time to utilize one. She suggested I let myself feel all the emotions I was grappling with, and to come back to writing about gratitude when I was feeling up for it. I took this as a sign that I needed to take a break. So farewell, gratitude journal – until next time.